David Brown writes …
On 9 February, at the final cross country league match of the Chiltern Cross-Country League 2018-19, an intrepid group of Biggleswade Athletic Club athletes challenged the very hilly course at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes.
The league has 10 races in each match, with the senior men running around six miles, while under-11s cover just over a mile.
First up for were the U11 girls and Orlagh Brunning and Jessica Hardy took to the race with vigour. After the initial stampede, Orlagh and Jessica settled into their stride and were well placed at the top of the first hill.
Orlagh was just outside the top 10 and Jessica mid-pack from the 100+ athletes in the race. A strong finish from both girls saw Orlagh with her best result of the season in 19th, while Jessica came a creditable 75th which enabled the U11 team to place higher in the final standings.
In the U11 boys race, George Hardy also had a good run and after positioning himself well at the top of the first hill, held his place to finish a strong 14th, which was also his best result from the season. George was joined by Alfie Lawrence, who finished strongly to cross the line in 75th.
Henry Gibb, in the U13 boys’ race, was making his cross-country debut. His race, taking place over a course of around two miles, saw him finish 61st overall. However, with Division 1 and 2 athletes running together, his division 1 and 2 place was a very creditable 13th.
Next up was Elliott Swinburne in the U17 boys’ race, which was over around 5km (just over three miles). With the extended course, Elliott was called upon to run multiple laps – so the hills had to be negotiated more than once! He had a strong race, finishing in 29th position, and placed just outside the medals in Division 2 to place fifth overall.
Finally, in the seniors race, BAC had veteran Paul Swinburne in the senior race, among a mammoth field of almost 400 finishers over the hilly multi-lap course. Paul finished in mid-pack 202nd – another best placing for the five-race season. Broken down more, in Division 2 this was a 64th place finish, and 19th in the V40 category.
In the team scores, the senior men were 21st, veteran men 18th, the U17 men 19th and the U13 boys were 11th.